Alcorn students’ first class assignment: Register to vote

The students at Alcorn State University are looking forward to utilizing the power of their vote.

Alcorn’s Student Government Association (SGA) and students from the Division of Marketing and Communication have teamed up to start the “#iVote: Do you?” campaign in an effort to get students registered to vote in the November presidential election.

This week, SGA and the Division have spent time in the Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. Dinning Facility getting students prepared to exercise their right to vote for the candidate they fill is right for leading this country. The voter registration deadline is Saturday, Oct. 8. Election Day is set for Tuesday, Nov. 8. Absentee ballots will be available to Mississippi residents Saturday, Sept. 24 for students who are registered in Mississippi, but would like to vote in their county of residence. Ballots must be returned by mail, fax or email to their county election office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Civil rights pioneers spent years fighting for African-Americans to have the right to vote. Shandria Taylor, a biology/pre-pharmacy major from Vicksburg, Mississippi, said that for that reason alone, we should flood the polls and exercise our right to vote.

“I feel that voting is a right that those before us fought for us to have,” said Shandria. “Voting is one of the cornerstones of a democracy, and it is our responsibility to make sure that our voices are heard.”

Everyone is aware of the prevalence of the digital age. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are three of the most used social media platforms for people to voice their opinions on an array of topics. Kemani Fells, a junior from Lorman, Mississippi, understands that using these resources to encourage fellow students and young adults to vote is pivotal to their futures.

“I think that voting is one of the most influential things that young adults can do, especially in this age of social media,” said Kemani. “With so much going on in our nation, it’s good for people our age to use social media outlets to voice our opinions and make a positive change. And even though the outcome may not be the one you preferred, its still good to go to the polls and cast your vote.”

Affordable tuition is a huge concern among college students. Angelical Brown, a senior, mass communications major from Edwards, Mississippi, is a firm believer of students going to vote for the person they feel would work to make college affordable for everyone.

“I firmly believe that young adults voting play a major role in candidates focusing on issues that are of primary concern to young individuals like myself,” said Angelica. “One of those issues is affordable college tuition. We all aspire to graduate college with a good quality education and without too much debt caused by student loans. However, it’s highly unlikely for college graduates to be debt free. College students taking the initiative to vote open the door for presidential candidates to both hear and meet our needs.”

Although there are people who are adamant about taking advantage of their chance to change things, some tend to feel that voting won’t affect the issues of this country and their communities. Sam Pruitt, a senior from Clarksdale, Mississippi, believes that casting your vote gives you power and increases the chances of putting qualified people in place that would initiate progress.

“Voting is important because it allows the people of the United States to determine who will lead them,” said Sam. “If we don’t vote, we won’t get a chance to elect the right people for important jobs. If we do vote, our chances of putting the right person for the job in place are much higher.”

MarCellus Rankin, a junior from Aurora, Colorado, agrees with Sam’s opinion of electing someone who is qualified for the position of president. MarCellus expressed his concern when it comes to electing the model candidate to be the next president.

“We need to vote people into office who will make great decisions for the entire country,” said MaCellus. “We can’t put someone in office who’s not familiar with what the job requires. If that happened, that would put the entire country in harms way. We all need to realize what we want done in this country, and we should come together on Election Day to express our concerns by voting.”

Take the initiative on Tuesday, Nov. 8 and vote for the presidential candidate you feel is the right fit to lead this country. Polls will be open form 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Voting machines will be set up in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex. Make your voice heard!

You may register to vote either in person or by mail. Voter registration applications are available here: #RegistertoVote. To register in person in Mississippi, visit your county election office. To register in your home state, visit your state board of elections.

For more information on Mississippi voter registration forms, polling place locations and more information, visit at

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